Friday, May 07, 2004

April Jobs report

For the second month in a row, the Labor Department has reported that job creation in the US has jumped above experts' expectations, including, even, a small addition of jobs in the manufacturing sector. It's possible that this means that the economy will continue to recover throughout the summer. This is good news for Bush, bad news for those of us who oppose his re-election. (I recognize this tension, BTW, which not too many of us liberals acknowledge is inherent in our position).

Does this mean that Bush is unbeatable in November? Almost. Bush's only significant liability may therefore be foreign policy, Iraq in particular. It's possible that with Iraq in such turmoil, and with the related scandals still roiling, he could be done in by foreign policy alone, but there's not much precedent for that. True, the war in Viet Nam caused LBJ to quit (hence we'll never know whether he would have been re-elected), but Nixon was re-elected during the worst of the Viet Nam conflict.

One thing might change this prospect: A powerful campaign by the Democratic candidates, Kerry and his veep, causing a groundswell of positive support. Could that happen?

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